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Entering 2009
December 31, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Believe, Mind Cloud, Shout

(email from my sister)

How will you spend the last few days of 2008?
Shopping? Sleeping?  Surfing (the web)?
Want to do something different? Something that may actually bring God pleasure?
—–
Here’s my suggestion – why not use the last few days of 2008 to say ‘Sorry’ to someone.
Or else, why not give someone the opportunity to say ‘Sorry’ to you?

In the bible it is very clear that Jesus was sent into the world not only to make peace between humanity and God but also to restore peace between those who are hostile towards each other.   Again and again those who are called God’s people, those who have been shown mercy and forgiveness are encouraged AND often warned (see especially Matthew 18:21-35) to likewise show mercy and forgiveness to others.

As Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.  23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

And as Paul also writes:

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” {Ephesians 4:26-27}

Brothers and sisters, with only a few days left in 2008 – the sun is well and truly about go down!  Who are the people that you need to forgive or to ask forgiveness from?  Your mother? Your father? Your brothers or sisters? Your grandparents? Your flatmate? Your classmate? Your neighbor? Your husband? Your wife? Your children? Your Christian brother or sister?

Or maybe you need to say ‘sorry’ to God?

As we approach the last few days of 2008 (ready to begin 2009), it is good for each of us to reflect again on God’s great offer of forgiveness that comes at the cost of his Son Jesus. Because no matter how often (or how terribly) we have failed God at various times this year, God makes the incredible promise that because of what his Son did by becoming man and dying  on the cross for us, his righteousness is now ours!

‘By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.’ {Romans 8:3b-4}

Forgiving someone is never easy – it costs.  And asking someone for forgiveness is also never easy – but brothers and sister, this delights God.
So why not make time in these next few days, before the sun goes down, to make sure 2009 begins as a wonderfully fresh new day!

22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
{Lamentations 3:22-23}

God bless.



China, Milk, and Melamine
September 26, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Mind Cloud, Shout

If you are not aware of another the recent scandal of Chinese food production, read this post and know the world you are living in. If you just have few seconds, this is the news: Baby formula and some milk products made in China is poisoned, and you might have the products around you.

What happened is, some milk product made in China was contaminated with Melamine, a banned material for food production. About what Melamine is, and how it effects the health, is nicely described by AFP here:

What is Melamine

What is Melamine

Victim count: Official reports indicated 4 babies have died and more than 53.000 is seriously ill, this is in China alone, statistic for other countries is not confirmed yet.

The problem is not only with milk, but obviously with any product that uses milk as its ingredient. In Singapore some major supermarket chains have recalled the Dutch Lady milk as well as some products that contains Chinese milk ingredient, including those who have big market share such as Oreo, M&M, Snickers, and Dove ( all from Mars, inc.? ). Another recalled product that has been in the market for very long time and very popular (I remember liking this when I was in kindergarten) is the White Rabbit Milk Candy. Following is the list of the recalled products (update: deleted). Update: I have received a long list of recalled products via the email, but this list is yet to be confirmed. If you would like to have it, please contact me, but bear in mind that it might not be the official list. So far this has been a global crisis, Singapore is not alone, major food recall and warnings have been issued in New Zealand, US, Europe, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, and some countries in Africa ( …and the list goes on).

The issue was raised by a New Zealand co-operative – Fonterra – who has share in Chinese manufacturing company, after receiving some reports. Some cover-ups and delay in action made it worst, and obviously too late for some family with babies.

Here what Boomberg says:

Sanlu Group, the first company identified as having produced tainted milk, received complaints in December and knew of the contamination in June, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Sept. 22. It didn’t notify the city government of Shijiazhuang, where it’s based, until Aug. 2. The nation’s quality and safety watchdog started an investigation on Sept. 10.

New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group, which owns 43 percent of Sanlu, this week criticized the “appalling delay” by its affiliate in reporting complaints by parents of babies sickened after drinking its infant formula. The WHO yesterday described the contamination as “deplorable.” – source

And Economist reports:

Fonterra, a New Zealand co-operative that owns 43% of Sanlu, has been praised for working with New Zealand’s government to push Sanlu and the Chinese government to disclose information about contaminated products and get them off the shelves and out of homes. But it has also been slammed for not doing more—in particular, for not going public earlier (it first learnt of problems in early August). Several of China’s big internet portals have also been accused of filtering out information about tainted milk from as long ago as December, in order to protect China’s reputation during the run-up to the Olympics. – source

So what now… are you still confident with eating China-made food? Will the world still believe in China, its government and its system? Economist says further about it:

The government’s response has changed, seemingly overnight, from suppression to intervention. The chairwoman of Sanlu has been detained. Four milk dealers have been arrested and 22 others held for questioning. The mayor of the city where Sanlu is based has resigned, along with the local Communist Party leader and the head of China’s national department of quality supervision.

Whether all of this will address the problems with China’s food-production system is questionable. The boss of one big food company says that at a local level, regulation is the responsibility of the Communist Party officials. Companies close to the party get an easy ride, until there is a breakdown, at which point punishment is draconian. Until the regulatory and judicial systems become independent, there will always be an incentive to ignore problems until they explode.

Foreign companies have been concerned about the possibility of such a scandal for some time. Unilever dumped its joint ventures years ago, to ensure it had full control of all domestic Chinese operations. McDonald’s has created its own closed supply chain, spanning beef, fries, bread and pickles. Coca-Cola imposes stringent rules on suppliers of sugar, water and carbon dioxide.

This approach is being greeted with increasing approval within China. In monitoring consumer opinions, Coke says it initially found its recent effort to acquire Huiyuan, a large juice company, generated complaints on websites from nationalists opposed in principle to foreign brands. But support for the deal has since grown as a result of the company’s reputation for safety and quality. Chinese firms are just beginning to build up their own brands and have yet to establish the kind of trust that persuades people that it is worth paying more for a better product, says Tom Doctoroff, chief executive in China of JWT, an advertising agency. Never has there been more reason for that to change. – source

This all news leave me with 3 things to wonder:

– For cheaper price, would a man make decision that put himself and family in risk?

– For cheaper price – and hence bigger profit – would a business decision maker close his eyes and cover his ears? Would man risk others in the effort to gain wealth?

– Next time, when a baby formula states on its label “high protein” or “double DHA”, or another food “Vitamin rich”, or a drink with “all-sounds-good-healthy-chemicals”… will I buy it? Truth or Lie?



Life is Wonderful
September 22, 2008, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Shout

This morning I woke up with this mood,
that life is so wonderful.
I was on the train to office, when again I had the same feeling.
So here is a song from Jason Mraz that almost perfectly describe my mood at that time:

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I’m saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
And it takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
And it takes some fears to make you trust
It takes some tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to HAVE it polished

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la

It takes some silence to make sound
And it takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care
It takes a hole to MAKE a mountain

Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la la life is full of
Ah la la la la la life is so full of love
Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la life is full of
Ah la la la la la life is so full of love

========================
And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is



Bad, Naughty, Cheeky
September 19, 2008, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Believe, Shout

BAD
Something is wrong. It should have been avoided, and it’s regreted. It’s a shame.

NAUGHTY
Something is wrong. Too bad, but it is the nature. Oh well, it just needs a bit of control to prevent big damage.

CHEEKY
Something is wrong. It’s not supposed to be, but he..he… it’s kinda funny. Nevermind, no harm was intended, anyway indeed it made a smile.

Now, do you see wrong things in its classes as well? Next time when you realize that something is wrong, which one of above is it in… or.. shall we compromise with wrong-doing by using those classes? Think about it; when a little boy flips little girl’s skirt, is it bad or naughty or cheeky? when a teenager boy flips his girl friend’s skirt, is it bad or naughty or cheeky? when a adult man flips a lady’s skirt…. ?

So, question is, when does exactly the same thing become bad or naughty or cheeky? Is it OK to make bad things sounds.. well, not so bad? Depends on who sees it, you say? Subjective? Depends on the point of view? What is something wrong in front of God?

SIN
Something is wrong. You do, you die.



WALL-E by Pixar + Disney
September 3, 2008, 9:15 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Mind Cloud, Shout

A great character animation, when communication is without words. Beside that, a great story too, serves as a great reminder to us.

We’ve grown accustomed to expecting surprises from Pixar, but “Wall-E” surely breaks new ground. It gives us a G-rated, computer-generated cartoon vision of our own potential extinction. It’s not the only film lately to engage this somber theme. As the earth heats up, the vanishing of humanity has become something of a hot topic, a preoccupation shared by directors like Steven Spielberg (“A.I.”), Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”), M. Night Shyamalan (“The Happening”) and Werner Herzog. In his recent documentary “Encounters at the End of the World” Mr. Herzog muses that “the human presence on this planet is not really sustainable,” a sentiment that is voiced, almost verbatim, in the second half of “Wall-E.” When the whimsical techies at Pixar and a moody German auteur are sending out the same message, it may be time to pay attention. – http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/movies/27wall.html

The movie, beside being a nice and entertaining animation, sends some serious message of what our children will face if we don’t think much of the environment. It might sound impossible, too dramatic and ridiculous to some people,… but I stand on believer side.

I highly recommend you to watch, regardless animation lover or not, this movie is beyond a nice animation, even beyond just a movie.

Here is the trailer:

And some little extras that those animators did when they couldn’t sleep at night:

And look forward to see them on red carpet:

I also love the opening Pixar credit for this one:

Ahh.. finally a nice movie after a while.



Evangelism
September 2, 2008, 11:15 am
Filed under: Believe, Mind Cloud, Shout

Why do executives spend time playing golf even if they suck at golfing?
You don’t think it’s because they want to keep fit and healthy, do you? And some marketing managers have to spend time drinking with their clients, or some account managers trying to get you for coffee. And no… they do not sell during that. They don’t even talk about products or services, nor any proposals. They talk about football, about mobile phones, about family, they try to be your friend… erm, nope. They don’t care to be your friend. They don’t care about your family or whether your team go through to finals. They just want to know you.

When you know your client, you know what to sell to the client. And even if you don’t have a right thing to sell, you know how to sell what you have.

Simply,.. what you like, how you see things, how you make decision, and what can move you.
This is something I have learnt for sometime. Now, put this for evangelism.

Ermm… business and evangelism?

It’s not much different, you try to make someone think the way you want them to think, you want them to agree with your points, and you want them to move and make decision, at a point where it might change their life.

So get out there, and before you talk too much about your faith, get to know them better. Go play badminton with them, go shopping with them, go for dinner with them, watch soccer with them and let them see your new mobile phone. But beyond that, you care to be their friend, you care about their family or whether their team go through to finals. And that’s not all, let them know you too, let them come to you place, let them try your recipe, let them play with your children. Let them know how you live as a christian. Evangelism is not only words or writes.



Dedicated to baby Kiron
August 29, 2008, 9:09 am
Filed under: Shout

From Yahoo News,

Bangladeshi baby Kiron rests in a blanket at a hospital in Jessore, on
August 26. The baby boy in southwestern Bangladesh died after his
parents decided to take him home because they could not afford adequate
medical care.

This is not the first news about baby borns with extreme physical abnormality. Just in few weeks ago, a baby with 2 faces, another with extra arm or leg… What happens to human race?

Rest in peace babe… you are no longer disturbed by thousands or people who take you as entertainment, and no one will ever call you freak… anymore.